St Kilda coach Brett Ratten hasn't given up hope of reaching the AFL finals or of Dan Hannebery playing a role in the club's desperate late bid for September action.
A 45-point loss to Geelong on Saturday night cost the Saints their top-eight spot with two rounds left to play and Hannebery went down with an ankle problem.
The injury-plagued veteran faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the upcoming clash with Brisbane at Marvel Stadium, where anything less than a win would be disastrous in St Kilda's finals bid.
"We're still a chance and while we're still a chance we need to keep striving," Ratten said.
"If Dan's fit enough to play and ready to go, we'll make that selection. But if he's not, we won't be taking that risk.
"We'd want to get him right for the following week but we want to give ourselves a chance to win."
Ratten faces the task of keeping his players in a positive frame of mind heading into games against the Lions and Sydney over the final two rounds after a disappointing second half against Geelong.
St Kilda were overpowered by the ladder-leading Cats, who kicked nine goals to three after the main break.
"The conversation will be quite balanced because we can't go whack and completely flatten them," Ratten said.
"We've got to get them up but we still have to address it and we can't sweep that under the carpet."
Hannebery cut a disappointed figure on the bench after being substituted in what was only his second appearance of the season after a long run of soft tissue injuries.
The 31-year-old has managed just 17 games in four seasons with the Saints since his high-profile move from Sydney.
"He's feeling optimistic about it and he's hoping it comes to hand really quickly," Ratten said.
"He's got the ice on the ankle and we'll just see how big it gets overnight."
Australian Associated Press
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